For Ronald Canty, working as a chef on private yachts for the rich and famous off the coast of France might have been a life of luxury, but it wasn’t the best way to raise his newborn son. Six months after settling down in Perth – his wife’s hometown – Ron stumbled on a derelict corner store in Hamilton Hill and saw potential. Read more
Celebrating its first birthday last December, The Little Bay in Western Australia attributes its warm atmosphere to friendly service, great food and coffee, and gorgeous views of the ocean.
“It’s been an outstanding first year,” Marketing Manager Anneliese Hvalgaard says. “We’ve been embraced by the locals, as well as the wider Perth community seeking out the coastal dining style we offer.” Read more
Perth café owner and former Olympian Eamon Sullivan was out with his family when he stumbled on a vacant store at the local Mezz Shopping Centre. He thought it would be perfect to extend his May Street Larder concept.
“The previous tenants vacated about a year ago and I remember walking by one day with the family and mentioned May Street Larder would do pretty well in this area,” Eamon says. Read more
Situated in Westfield Carousel Shopping Centre, local hot spot Caffeine Trader is the perfect pit stop after a long shopping trip.
Since opening, the Caffeine Trader team has seamlessly emerged within the Western Australian community. The coffee lovers of Cannington have been extremely happy and welcoming of the offering. The café says it has become their home away from home within the centre. Read more
David Yeo moved from Melbourne to Perth six years ago, with the intention of contributing to the same community atmosphere and appreciation for specialty coffee he found in Melbourne. David’s ambitions became a reality with the unveiling of his new café, Open by Duotone, in June 2018.
Open by Duotone is David’s second venue, following the launch of his first café, Duotone, three years earlier. David says Open by Duotone does not have the same space limitations as his first café’s CBD location. Read more
Swish Coffee Brewers opened its doors in December 2017 and made a strong impression on Perth’s corporate world before the city shut down for the holidays.
The venue is the second endeavour for Owner Christian Salerno, a barista of 15 years. Read more
It’s been said that Australians happily travel for great coffee. In the case of Achievable Outback Café, that sentiment rings true.
Located 130 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie on the Goldfield’s Highway (just a mere hour and 15 minute drive), the small WA community of Menzies is home to the Achievable Outback Café.
This family-owned and operated business is situated in what was once a derelict hotel and the town’s premier drinking establishment during the early 1900s gold rush.
Over the years, termite damage and extreme environment conditions from the Northern Goldfields took its toll on the building, but thanks to a little TLC from Owners Justin Lee and Anne Sheehan, the establishment got back on its feet in 2013 – this time serving coffee, not beer, to locals and tourists alike.
“The response from many customers is a sense of disbelief when they walk in and are greeted by the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, coupled with the rustic charm of the original floorboards and ornate pressed tin panel ceilings,” Anne says.
She says regular traffic with the addition of passing tourists account for their customer base. “Keeping quality and consistency in our product means that our reputation can be carried by word of mouth around the camping and caravanning sites in this region,” Anne says.
Achievable Outback Café serves Mahalia’s Blend No. 2, a full-bodied coffee combining five single origins that is characteristically spicy, with the warmth of clove and coriander seeds.
Justin, who originally resided in Essendon, Victoria, says specialty coffee was the inspiration for opening their business.
“[The café] has been the creation of what can be achieved even when distance and accessibility are both challenges,” he says. “We focus on offering friendly service, quality, and value for money.”
While the mining boom traffic may have lessened, Justin says there are still passing workers and seasonal tourist traffic looking for a quality coffee in the outback – and the odd passing camel as well.
In the mid 1970s, Burns Beach Café operated as a one-stop-shop kiosk, servicing an adjacent caravan park where customers had to transverse kilometres of dirt road just to get there. Read more
Friends Robert Williams, Han-li, and Han-ji are no strangers to the café scene.
For a few years they operated a small city venue called Smuggle Seeds Espresso and would regularly dine at local cafés around Perth, noting what they liked, what they didn’t, and what they would do differently if given the chance.
Eventually the time came to bid their 60-square-metre space goodbye and say hello to a more spacious venue in the epicentre of Perth.
The Bayswater site is now large enough to hold a commercial kitchen to serve an all-day breakfast and lunch menu.
“When customers enjoy our food and drink our coffee they’re enjoying a reflection of things that we personally like and enjoy, as opposed to trends,” Robert says.
With the help of designers Bremick Group, the space was soon transformed into a café oasis with wooden brown tones, elements of green, and dim lighting.
“We presented the interior designers with a folder of the styles of cafés we liked from around the world, including ideas from Pinterest, mixed with our own flair. They took it all on board and did a terrific job,” Robert says.
As for the name Tbsp (Tablespoon), Robert says it was a light-bulb moment one day baking in the kitchen.
“I was holding a tablespoon measuring device in my hand, and I looked down and thought, ‘why not?’ I wanted people to associate the name with food and the culinary side of our business, and not just another small specialty café,” he says.
“People can get caught up in the intimidation of what it means to be a specialty coffee shop. Our challenge was how can we serve them our coffee and still find a way to show our customers how to appreciate where the coffee comes from without overwhelming them. Our solution is to continue to do the best job with every cup we make, and be transparent to our customers if they have any questions.”
Robert and his team of baristas use a Synesso Hydra Generation 2 paddle machine to keep the artisan approach alive.
Tbsp uses Perth’s Blacklist Coffee Roasters’ Etude for its milk-based coffee. Robert says this blend bring out chocolate notes. It also serves Melbourne’s Small Batch Roasters’ Candyman blend for black coffees, which highlights citrus tones.
Rotating single origins, cold brew, and filter coffees from Small Batch are also available and served with a Marco sp9 manul pour over brewer.
“We’re serving hundreds of filter coffees a week and we can because of the Marco pour over brewer, it’s amazing,” Robert says.
Tbsp attracts an “eclectic mix” of customers each day, including parents and business people, to senior citizens.
“I’m finding the elderly are more keen to drink single origins than the younger demographic. The other day we had a table full of elderly ladies drinking coffee tonics and cold drip, and absolutely loving it,” Robert says.
On the opposite end of the scale, babycinos with melted white chocolate imported from France have every child captivated and asking for more.
As for the big kids, there’s plenty to keep them satisfied too. Robert describes the menu as a “casual eating experience not defined by genre”.
“You might be eating a breakfast congee, and the friend next to you scrambled eggs,” he says.
Favourite items that allow you to “eat with your eyes” includes the brioche French toast, avocado tartine, kim-cheese burger, fried chicken sandwich, brisket benedict, and grilled sandwiches that are as big as the plate they’re served on.
“We want to be an intimidation-free café. Tsbp is a project. It’s an experiment in how we can serve delicious food and coffee together in an approachable and accessible way, and it’s working,” Robert says.
“I’m enjoying the connections with everyone who comes in. One gentleman was nearly in tears as he thanked us for the best breakfast he’s ever had. This experience has taught our customers that it’s OK to not understand every item on our menu. Instead, ask us. We always want to provide the answer.”
Karim Decima has ticked off two of his dream coffee goals in the space of five months.
In April 2015 Karim launched Atlas Coffee Roasters, and then came an offer that was too good to refuse.
“Opening a coffee bar was a last minute project. My first priority was to start the roastery. I’m a roaster by trade and I wanted to have greater control over the product we served to customers. But a cute little site in Fremantle popped up and we decided to jump on the opportunity to open our own coffee bar. It was a natural progression of business and friendship to start the café, it just happened a lot quicker than I expected,” Karim says.
Red Cherries is the sister account to Black Cherries’ stall at the Fremantle market, operated by Red Cherries and Atlas Coffee Roasters’ Co-owner Tim Lock.
It became the meeting point for Karim, Tim and Head Barista Whale Hwang. The trio has put their skills to good use and formed Red Cherries Coffee Bar.
The coffee is roasted just 10 minutes down the road in O’Connor, which Karim says is really developing into a niche coffee roasting hub. Karim and Tim roast on a 15-kilogram Toper roaster.
“It has enabled us to have a lot of flexibility in terms of what we roast,” Karim says. “We work one on one with cafés in Fremantle and Perth, creating specific blends to cater to their flavour preferences. We’ve very focused on specialty coffee and roasting for filter coffee. We want to make our coffee approachable to everyone, and a simple beverage for people to sit down and enjoy.”
Karim has been working in the industry for the past 12 years. He says he’s seen a lot of changes in that time, including the quality of beans available in the country, and the quality of equipment and knowledge of baristas.
“Coffee-making used to be more of an art than science, but now it’s become a science more than art. Every sector of the industry has grown and changed in some capacity for the better, now we just need customer service to complement the other changes,” he says. “It’s also thanks to baristas like [Ona Coffee’s] Sasa Sestic who went out and discovered a new way of processing coffee that shows how mature the coffee scene really is.”
Originally from Morocco, Karim says when he first arrived in Australia in 2006 he was immediately impressed with the country’s coffee appreciation. “I was blown away at how advanced the coffee scene was,” he says. “When I go back home the coffee is very different. Moroccan coffee uses lots of Arabica and Robusta beans, but it’s a different experience built on memories more than anything,” he says.
For Atlas Coffee Roasters, Karim buys lots of African and Central American coffees to create the Toubkal blend, named after the highest mountain in Morocco. The coffee is put through a La Marzocco Linea Classic for espresso and milk-based coffees, and a Slayer machine for espresso and filter coffees.
“We like to experiment with our coffee. We taste everything and although we do use tools to measure yield, we rely on our palates to determine a specific profile for every coffee that we use,” Karim says.
Red Cherries’ coffee menu changes weekly, with guest roasters invited for filter and espresso roasts.
Karim says it’s hard to go past his love of Ethiopian coffees, but Costa Rican micro lots, such as La Lia El Dragon comes as a close second favourite.
Red Cherries is located only 20 metres from Perth’s famous cappuccino strip, in a small piazza Karim describes as a “little piece of heaven”.
“It’s an intimate space that’s built using lots of recycled timbers and woodwork by Palletico, and very few bought items. Most of the work has been handmade, with a few Moroccan-inspired touches to the interior as well. It’s a nod to my homeland, but we’re really proud of what we’ve achieved.”